The rationalisation of school curriculum in Australia into eight areas has had interesting repercussions in the arts. For the first time, the five distinct forms of artistic expression, namely dance, drama, media music and visual art have been brought together as 'The Arts' to operate as a discrete area of learning. The rather ambiguous status of design has been 'resolved' by coupling it with visual art. The formal consultative draft of the National Arts Curriculum Statement has now been released for public discussion, with development of the Profiles about to begin. The effects of this grouping of the art forms into one area are many and varied. Arts educators have recognised the need to work together 1. politically - negotiating with national government, state ministries, and within school communities, and 2. educationally - seeking to define the essence of the arts as an area of learning, while maintaining the integrity of each form of artistic expression. I will first of all deal briefly with item number one, as it provides a useful background to the current development of a national arts curriculum. Item number two poses some interesting problems, and these will be addressed in more detail.